My journey back to fitness fitness motivation iwannabealady.com getting back into shape after a long absence

My Journey Back To Fitness

Walking back into the gym after a long absence is hard. Walking back into the gym when I used to be a regular fixture is harder. Walking back into the gym after having gained noticeable weight, for me, is the hardest.

Not everyone is going to feel the same as I do. Some of you pop in and out of the gym, mind your business and go home. I’ve always been a no nonsense type of gym person myself. I’ve got my music blasting through my headphones; I’m working solo or paired up with an occasional friend.

 

But no matter how solitary you are in your workouts, many of you have probably felt, as I have, a bond grows between you and your regular gym mates.

You grow familiar. You start to smile in passing. You ask if a machine is being used. You ask people how many more sets they have left; they ask you as well. Before you know it, you feel a part of a community.

They become the people you see every day after work. You watch each other’s progress and give compliments when things are progressing well. You groan as you hold weights and prepare for your walking lunges and they nod their head in agreement. We are tired, but we’re in this together. That’s the message.

Sometimes, you even become an inspiration to others.

I’ve had women tell me that they check out my workouts so that they might emulate me and achieve my results. I’ve had friends ask to accompany me to the gym in order to teach them what’s best. I’ve watched friends move from novices to one becoming a trainer and another training for a triathlon.

And yet, consistency has always been a battle for me, and this past year has been no different in that respect. But it has been different in the amount of time that I let pass by before really doing something about it. Within the past 6 months, I have stepped foot in the gym maybe 3 times. I used to go to the gym 4, 5, 6 days a week.

I’m not recommending this to everybody. I loved being at the gym, though getting there was often difficult. It’s where I felt most healthy, energized, sexy and strong. It’s the battleground where I pushed myself. It was a big part of my sense of community.

But I dropped the ball. I was busy with new endeavors and then laziness kicked in, as it loves to do. 3 days. That’s what it takes for your body to start letting go of the progress you’ve made. Previously, my longest gymless record was 3 months, so this has been especially bad.

In order to combat my feeling like my body is simply a sack of low energy, I got a bike. First I rode once a day in the mornings before work, but once I started feeling reinvigorated, I started riding twice a day in the early mornings and late evenings. It feels amazing, and I get the gift of beautiful sunrises and sunsets. If you’d like to know more about my bike riding adventures, check out my ongoing series Impressions While Riding My Bike in the fitness category starting here.

Still, for as much as I love my bike and the results it’s been giving me, I felt like something was missing.

I missed the gym. I missed the adding more weight, the flexing my triceps in the mirror, the seeing my muscles develop, the encouragement and inspiration. So I’m heading back in!

If you have gone through this yourself, you already know how I feel. But if not, embarrassed, hesitant and disappointed.

I feel embarrassed that I didn’t take control sooner and that everyone will be able to see the result. I feel hesitant about not being able to do what I previously could do. What will I be able to curl? How much weight can I now deadlift? Just how gone is my endurance? Every time I do some physical exertion that winds me, I’m disappointed to think that I could do double or triple it previously.

But who wants to live in the past? If I choose to visit the past, it will be the parts that offer positive memories. It will be the times that remind me of what I’m capable of.

So bearing that in mind, I met my friend at her gym (yes, I wasn’t ready to head back to my own gym just yet. Being honest here) and together we took a spinning class, my first one ever. Everyone told me that my legs would be in woeful pain the next day, but I actually think that my regular bike riding prepared me. The next day I felt no pain in my legs, though I pushed harder than I had in a long time.

What they don’t tell you is that your vagina will hurt. The funny thing is it took me a few hours to put the cause and effect of the two events together. I ate so much yogurt before I realized the pain was from spinning. My friend reassures me that my va-jay-jay will get used to it and toughen up like that’s supposed to be the good news?!

Then, I had another first. My friend and I– she is also making her way back– went to a workout class. I would previously never step foot in a workout class unless it was yoga. But there we were. What brought us there? Our spinning instructor recommended we try the full body workout class that she also teaches.

We both expected it to be easy. We are veterans after all and classes are for newbies, right? So we both grabbed 8 pound weights, lamenting the fact that there were no 10lbs. Within two minutes of the warm up, we were dying. Our instructor emphasized that everyone should have 2.5lbs in each hand. We look at each other and smirk. We walk to the weight rack and grab 5lbs. Another 10 minutes and the instructor again “reminds” us that we should all be holding 2.5lbs. I blush and walk back to the rack for lighter weights. She was right from the start. My form was getting thrown off with the heavier weights and the burn was just too much to get through each set perfectly. Perfect is always better than heavier.

Another 10 minutes and the instructor again “reminds” us that we should all be holding 2.5lbs. I blush and walk back to the rack for lighter weights. She was right from the start. My form was getting thrown off with the heavier weights and the burn was just too much to get through each set perfectly. Perfect is always better than heavier.

By the end, I was covered in sweat, and I felt strong and accomplished. The push from someone outside of myself was the right thing at the right time. We even did some extra ab workouts before leaving the gym.

My journey back to fitness fitness motivation iwannabealady.com getting back into shape after a long absence

So there you have it. I’ve put my intentions out into the universe. My mission is bigger now. I want to motivate and encourage all of you out there who are going through a similar experience of journeying back to fitness to join me in my journey and share yours as well. We can all use a bit of inspiration.

Becoming a regular bike rider has made me realize that there are so many possible ways of getting fit that may prove enjoyable, so now I’m feeling the itch to try out some new workouts and see how my body reacts. And of course, I’ll be sharing them all with you here.

Sidenote: The next parts of this series will not be so long. I had to do introductions this time around, get you all caught up since I slacked on posting this. Hey, I’m not perfect!

Tell me, have you had any fitness dry spells and how did you manage to get back on the wagon? What are favorite ways to stay fit? If you’ve never really worked out before, what’s holding you back? I’d love to hear your stories!

 


My name is Lyz-Stephanie and I want to inspire you to live a more interesting, fulfilling and beautiful life. Think of me as your well-being and happiness coach. I know that things aren’t always easy. Life doesn’t drop dreams into our laps, but every day we can do something to make our lives happier and richer, make our minds more active and engaged. I’m on the journey. Will you join me?

If you like what you’re reading, please share the link. And don’t forget to find me on the other side! Instagram I Twitter I Pinterest

 

30 thoughts on “My Journey Back To Fitness

  1. Since moving into my new house, I’ve put my workouts on hold. But to be fair, I now have a yard to mow and have tackled ripping up some overgrowth which has proven more intense than originally planned. I wouldn’t mind getting back to jogging in the evenings, but the area I now live in is quite hilly. I can’t wait to get my mom’s elliptical set up in one of the spare rooms. There would be no room for excuses then.

    Good for you for getting back into it. You look great btw. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey! First of all, thank you, that’s sweet of you to say. Yard work can actually be really intensive. It’s great that you’re getting a workout and helping your home to be more beautiful at the same time. Congratulations on moving into a new place. That’s always so exciting to be able to make it your own.

      Florida is so flat that I can barely imagine what hilliness looks like but it sure does sound like torment. An elliptical in the spare room sounds perfect. You can blast music and wear whatever you want! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I love this post! I am a workout girl and more often than not I stay pretty motivated. However… (you knew it was coming, right?) when we moved to a new city in 2015, I fell off hard. It was a year of changes, and getting everybody adjusted to a new place and new schools left little time for the gym. But, like you, I eased back in. Last year was better, but this year (since the start of 2017) I’ve been working out the way I like, and while I love that I look better, my happiness and mental state is where I really see a difference. I still get bored and haven’t found a gym I love love here, but I joined a tennis team and have been trying out various workouts. I even took a standup paddle-board lesson last fall and plan to do another one soon. All the best to you as you jump in again. You look amazing, btw. Can’t wait to read more.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, Viv, I knew that was coming 🙂 Even the best of us can get sidetracked when life gets crazy. It sounds like you had a lot on your plate and sometimes driving to the gym, working out, and then driving home takes such a huge chunk of time. It’s great that you’re back at it and a tennis team sounds like so much fun. I’m actually quite a fan of playing tennis but rarely get anyone to play with me. Honestly, I haven’t asked very often…

      I was terribly nervous the entire time I was standing on the paddle board because I have a fear of deep water, but I’m hoping to slowly get over that. You’re so right that a change in happiness and mental state is one of the biggest benefits there are. I feel more in control of my whole life when I feel in control of my body. Thanks for commenting and glad to hear your inspiring comeback!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I know that you’ve been dealing with a lot Kerry, especially this time of year. Maybe you can start slow with yoga workout videos at home? I do that every once in a while when I can’t get out of the house. It’s calming, which may be helpful for you. May you be back at it soon. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have never gotten on the gym workout wagon so I can’t really relate to that part 😂
    Also, 3 days sounds about right to getting out of a routine. I mostly prefer home workouts but that’s cause I know that it’s hard for me to convince myself to do a workout..and convincing myself to leave the house to go to the gym will be next level impossible, so home workouts it is! I know you’ve been enjoying your bike rides, so at least you can say you’ve still been working out even if you haven’t been to the gym. Also, I really wanted to throw in that you’re looking really good! Super toned and all that 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Ang, I know all about your workout struggles. I love that you know you what’s an outrageous response for yourself😂The bike rides saved me about 3-4 months in. I’m so thankful for my bike. Sometimes I walk past it in my living room and give it a pat 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m really happy and proud of you for getting back to it! I used to workout at home ALL THE TIME and just haven’t done much in around a year now. I’m slowly trying to do a little every few days and I’m building my stamina back. I just felt so weak lately, that I needed a push. I’m ready to take this journey with you and I know we’re both gonna feel a lot better (: good luck to you xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, Kitty, that I know exactly what you’re struggling with. It’s so tough to get restarted after a long pause, but it was just a pause. I’m glad to hear you’ll be on the journey with me. We’ve got this, girl! I’d love to hear about your progress. 😁 And thank you for your support, darling.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Apologies for my delay Lyz. Last weekend and this entire week (perhaps into next week too) have been VERY busy at our Red Cross shelter handling Hurrican Harvey evacuees from Corpus and the coastal towns down there. Thus, my Follower-comments have really slacked lately. LOL

    Wonderful post! I absolutely LOVE the camaraderie and (implied) accountability that TEAMWORK offers, in much of life yes, but especially when I had it in my pro and semi-pro soccer career! I do feel it helps us stay healthier if we keep a sense of accountability to a “team” of some sort, like your gym mates. Keep it up! BRAVO! You look fantastic now and WILL look even more fantastiKER later! 😉 ❤

    Dry spells for me? Absolutely. Life often gets in the way of my PERSONAL plans. HAH! The part that I struggle with or fight is when I cannot control my specific diet. In other words, cardio and toning, etc, is all great, yes. BUT the right (perfect!) diet makes it all so SO much easier with noticeable results! It’s through the uncontrolled diet out and about with friends, family, get-togethers, where I have little to no control over what is offered. This is a factor for ME personally because I am a very social extrovert. I am not always at home in my own kitchen when a mealtime comes around. And not everyone, i.e. your host/hostess, can accomodate everyone’s dietary needs, right? LOL

    It’s a juggling act for sure. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, no worries Professor. I know you’ve been crazy busy lately. I imagine you as a squirrel with a top hat darting to and fro, lol. Someone should really do something with that idea; it’s adorable!

      Anyway, I didn’t know that you played soccer so extensively, by that I mean organized. I have fond memories of my dad and all of his buddies getting together about once a month to go play soccer together. Food is definitely a challenge for me. I love food so very very much! All kinds of food. They each have their specialness, esp. bread. bread has the most specialness. Whether in my home or out of it, I’m always struggling not to eat everything in sight. 🙂 Here’s to fantastiKER!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. *heavy sigh*

    Lyz-Stephanie, oh my gosh.

    I am my own worst enemy, especially when it comes to physical activity. I’ve been thinking that I /can’t/ do things for so long, that I believed it. I started going to the gym (finally) a few years ago, and I loved it! I hate cardio (running is the devil’s pastime, okay), but I love all of the machines and aching afterward. However, lack of consistency is my biggest flaw.

    Since Jonny (my partner) officially moved here from the U.K., I’ve gotten a bit better about getting into the gym two times a week; he pushes me in a good way and gets me in there even when I would rather do literally anything else. He’s the best.

    I think — other than telling myself I can’t and not being consistent — my biggest battle with getting in the gym is against my self-image. It’s a mental health thing. And it’s /so hard/ to work through that. But I’m trying. Sometimes I skip a week at the gym, this summer I actually skipped all of July. I’m happy if I get in the gym twice, but I’m working toward that being a habit of three times a week.

    … Long and rambly post to thank you for sharing your feelings about getting back to the gym. I FEEL YOU. And I appreciate you putting it all into words.

    xx Kaiya

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I loved reading every word of your long and rambly comment 🙂 It’s clear that you could relate to this post because so much of what you said sounds like me. I’m so glad to hear that Jonny is supporting you and pushing you to do better. It’s sometimes so damn hard, but I know that you can do it. You could be in a fitness competition in 2 years if you set your mind to it (not that you’d want to, idk 🙂 )

      I think it’s really important to not let a setback overthrow your entire will to keep going. I know I’ve dealt with that issue in the past! If I stumble one day and don’t reach my goal, the next morning I say today is a whole new day. Start again. I think that makes a huge difference in self-esteem.

      Once you start getting into the habit again, you’re going to feel great. One day at a time, girlie, you’ve got this. We’ve got this, actually! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re the best! This is exactly what I needed to hear (or read) today. ❤ Thank you. You're great at motivating. 🙂

        (I was going to sign up for my first 5k, but I chickened out and didn't do it. I'm going to sign up for one in the spring, though, and work toward it through the winter. I think it will help with my winter blues and self image.)

        xx

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ve chickened out of a thing or two myself, so I know the feeling. But the marathon is an awesome idea to give yourself some incentive to push yourself through the winter. It seems like we only have a couple of weeks of winter here in Florida sometimes and it can still get tiresome all that cold LOL.

          By the time spring rolls around and everyone is crawling out of their lazy hibernation you’ll be top-notch! I’ve never run a marathon but if love to one day. I’m so happy to hear your goals 😀

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I’m so jealous of your warm climate! Michigan becomes unbearable for about 6 months of the year, and it seems to be starting early this time. (Last year, we had 70s until mid-November, which was lush. This year, it’s already in the 50s.) I’m already ready for spring, haha!

            Liked by 1 person

  7. About the va-jay-jay hurting, I have been there too with spinning along with the added hurt of leg muscles that felt like they had turned into lead overnight. You clever you had conditioned yours before hitting the spinning studio 😉

    Commiserations about falling off the fitness bandwagon. It is so easy to. Every now and then it is okay to, I suppose, only human 🙂 xx

    Like

  8. Wow Lyz! This post is most inspiring. And that picture of yours…Wow! I hope I can be like you soon, get back to gym or to doing Zumba. I’ll join you in your journey. Will probably start again with my daily home 20min Zumba first. I love dancing so hopefully it’ll take off from there, then who knows before Christmas maybe I would be back in the gym too. Thanks for inspiring so many of us with this post. – Amor

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m definitely a lover of dance and often do so at home just for fun, but it turns out to be a great workout. I’m glad to hear that you found some inspiration in this. Thanks for joining me on this journey. I know that you’ll be able to get back on track, and you’ll feel great and do something you love. Working out at home on my bike was what saved me from complete lassitude. Stepping stones are great. The gym will be seeing you soon enough! 😃

      Like

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